Biotechnology Graduate Program

Faculty of Mathematics and Science

Biotechnology Graduate Program

“In the training of surgeons, there is an old saying; 'See one. Do one. Teach one' The education of scientists is quite similar, and the relationship between a graduate student and supervisor is very close to that between an expert and an apprentice. Graduate students at Brock University receive more than just facts from their research supervisors, but also the complex skills of tackling difficult problems as part of a diverse team of skilled colleagues. These lessons and relationships last a very long time – a lifetime.” – Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson, past-Director of the Centre for Biotechnology and Graduate Program Officer.

Contact the Graduate Program Director: Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson (Chemistry)

Program Description
The Biotechnology program provides graduate students with training and experience in a very broad range of chemical, biochemical, and biological approaches to technologies that use living organisms or the products therefrom to make novel materials, measurements, processes, or services.

The biotechnology industry encompasses an enormous variation in products and services, from food technologies (wine and beer, cheese, and other fermented foodstuffs), advanced biomedical applications such as pharmaceuticals produced by less environmentally disrupting Green Chemistry, to the detection and modification of genes in microorganisms, plants and animals.


The graduate programs offered by the Centre for Biotechnology encompass the broad fields of:

  • Chemical and gene biotechnology
  • Ecological-based biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical biotechnology
  • Plant and plant-product biotechnology
  • Applied microbiology

These fields are interdisciplinary in nature and collaboration between participating faculty and departments is encouraged.

Chemical Biotechnology involves the use of the tools and techniques of chemistry to understand and manipulate biological processes.

Gene Biotechnology involves the use of DNA technology, bioinformatics and microbiological techniques to study biological phenomena.

Ecological-based Biotechnology evaulates plant, insect or animal interactions with the potential for natural product development.

Graduates of these prgrams work in such areas as pharmaceuticals and related human health activities, food and science and nutritional biochemistry, environment, agriculture, energy, as well as biotechnological related issues of finance and policy.


  • Our research scientists take pride in providing a vibrant, active research environment on par with the best in Canada and beyond.
  • Most research teams are invigorated by productive collaborations with other scientific teams around the world.
  • Students therefore learn how a complex research effort is coordinated between principal investigators. These skills are critical whether your future takes you to academia, government, or industry. Research is too complex these days to rely entirely on local expertise.

The most unique feature of this program is the interdisciplinary nature of the degree, providing students with opportunities in both Chemistry and Biology. For example, graduate students working with gene biotechnology may also collaborate with analytical chemists adept in mass spectroscopy. Graduate students will be exposed to a vast array of molecular biology and analytical chemistry techniques.